Azerbaijan's Central Bank restructures loans to minimize negative consequences of COVID-19 pandemic

  19 September 2020    Read: 704
Azerbaijan

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) has provided liquidity to the banking sector for 1 billion manats ($588.2 million) since the beginning of 2020, the bank’s Board Chairman, Elman Rustamov said at the meeting of the Council of Cooperation with Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan under the Management Board of CBA held on September 16, 2020.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organizations, Azerbaijan Banks Association, entrepreneurs, and representatives of the banking sector, as well as other representatives who are not members of the Council.

Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy, Industry and Entrepreneurship of Azerbaijan’s Parliament, Tahir Mirkishili, and Director of CBA’s Training Center, Javanshir Abdullayev also took part in the meeting.

CBA’s board chairman noted that as a result of the measures taken by the bank, the volume of business lending and mortgage lending increased, while consumer lending decreased.

So, in 2020, the regulatory requirements for loans to entrepreneurs engaged in export activities were softened, while the requirements for consumer loans tightened, he said.

Rustamov stressed that to minimize the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, several prudential normative for banks were softened, as well as recommendations were given to raise capital reserves and restructure loans to economic entities affected by the pandemic. Moreover, loans to 49,000 borrowers for 886 million manats ($521.1 million) were restructured.

Reportedly, under the self-employment program, with the support of CBA, banks provided various assets to vulnerable groups. To expand access to financial resources in rural areas, CBA launched a joint project with the relevant institutions.

Speaking at the meeting, Nuriyev, in turn, pointed out the difficulties that have arisen in the activities of banks due to the current situation.

Nuriyev stated that it is difficult for banks to identify additional risks associated with business entities.

Another participant of the meeting, Abdullayev emphasized the importance of the Council of Cooperation with Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan as a platform for cooperation between the financial and banking sector and entrepreneurs in terms of providing the necessary support to business, especially in a pandemic.

Abdullayev also stressed the importance of state funds for business support and noted the importance of considering the possibility of consolidating their activities in the current situation.

He also advised that banks operating in Azerbaijan, as well as throughout the world should give preference to the use of state guarantee mechanisms for business support.

Mirkishili highly appreciated the activities of the council to settle problems arising in the dialogue between the banking and private sectors.

He also brought to the attention of the meeting participants that the committee is ready to support the solution of emerging issues related to legislation.

 

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